Different art ‘sticks’ at TAG exhibition

For Robyn Maas, curation is another way of making art.

“I was an installation artist in grad school,” she said. “I did sculpture, I did installations. I found out afterward, it doesn’t have to be my stuff that I arrange. It can be anybody’s. It’s another thing I do, arranging things in a space.”

Mass curated “Make Things Stick,” an exhibition opening Saturday at Trumbull Art Gallery.

It features the work of three women artists — Jennifer Hill, Adrien Lucas and Savannah Schroll Guz.

“All of these women I collect, and I love their work,” Maas said.

Maas has been collecting Hill’s paintings for more than 20 years and previously curated a show of her work at Medici Museum of Art in Howland

“Her work is kind of naive, and that’s what I like about it,” Maas said. “It’s not academic, it’s not precise. I think that’s what’s interesting about it.”

Hill, who lives in Amherst, earned her bachelor’s degree in studio arts from Kent State University in 1991. Her work is inspired by her travels from Mexico City to Moderna, Italy.

Maas met Guz when both had exhibitions in Weirton, W.Va., last year. The TAG show includes two paintings Maas purchased from the artist as well as other pieces.

In her artist statement, Guz writes, “I consider my art a kind of world-building effort, whereby I create a miniature universe that is influenced heavily by research I have done or things I am reading during the period I am creating the work. I often explore the sensation of freedom or — more often — the concept of rootedness.”

Maas studied with Lucas’ father, James Lucas, when she was a student at Youngstown State University, and bought one of Adrien Lucas’ pieces that was featured in “This Is Not Nostalgia: The Works of James and Adrien Lucas,” a show Maas curated earlier this year at TAG.

She is displaying a different collection of works this time, what Lucas calls her “Bad Exits” series.

It consists of mixed media portraits of dead celebrities — Hunter S. Thompson, Billie Holliday, Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, Tom Petty, Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen and others — all of whom dealt with substance abuse issues during their lives.

Drawing inspiration from photographs, Lucas incorporates text and uses items such as tightly rolled papers, embroidery floss and remnants of vintage Whiting and Davis purses to create the works.

“A lot of my friends are dead from a lot of these things, drugs or HIV,” Lucas said, and the work is borne out of trying some lightness in these tragic circumstances. “I have a dark sense of humor.”

Also opening Saturday is “Untold Stories: Photographs by Dr. W. Gordon (1928-2022).”

Gordon, who was a dentist for 61 years, first developed an interest in photography as a student at Ohio University, and it continued while studying at The Ohio State University College of Dentistry and as a dentist in the U.S. Navy.

In the statement accompanying the exhibition, daughter Amy Gordon-Keller writes, “Dad had previous photographic exhibits; however, he was always available to share the colorful stories behind his images. In this exhibit, we are showcasing many never-before-seen photos for which we have neither titles nor stories to accompany them. As a result, we named the exhibit ‘Untold Stories.'”

Visitors to TAG are encouraged to create their own names for the images and offer a story based on their impressions of the work.

Both exhibitions will be on display through June 21 with an opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday.

If you go …

WHAT: “Make Things Stick,” featuring the work of Jennifer Hill, Adrien Lucas and Savannah Schroll Guz, and “Untold Stories: Photographs by Dr. W. Gordon (1928-2022)”

WHEN: Both Saturday through June 21 with opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday. Hours are noon to 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: Trumbull Art Gallery, 158 N. Park Ave., Warren

HOW MUCH: Admission is free. For more information, go to www.trumbull

artgallery.com or 330-395-4876.

Have an interesting story? Contact Andy Gray by email at agray@tribtoday.com. Follow us on X, formerly Twitter, @TribToday.


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